Ironically, some of the same aspects that make Internet poker so convenient and easy also make it potentially hazardous. The money used in online poker can feel imaginary, but, if you lose too much too fast, you will feel some very real consequences. Here are some tips you should know before you dive into an online poker room.
Playing poker on the Internet is not for everyone. Because all Internet poker rooms are based outside of the United States, the laws and regulations governing them are different from what many players are familiar with. For this reason, it is recommended playing at only the larger, well-established sites when you first start playing online -- and only if it is legal!
Because many sites do not accept credit cards, you must set up a virtual bank account of some kind to fund your poker account. When doing this, choose one that has been in business for a while and has many customers. A deposit into a poker site is put into your account. Money you lose is deducted from your account, and money you win is put into your account.
Plan of Action
A quick way to start playing poker on the Internet is to set aside a small amount of money ($20 to $100) as a test bankroll. Open an Internet bank account (search the Internet for e-payment systems), and then find a couple of established online poker rooms that offer the opportunity to play for free, afford micro-limit games, and provide a sign-up bonus. Download the software and play the free games until you have a good feel for how it works. Then deposit your money, and start playing the micro-limit tables.
Many players jump right into a game that has higher limits before they are ready for it, and then they lose a lot of money before dropping back down in limits. Use these guidelines, and don't move up until you are ready. There is no shame in playing poker for pennies. If you do move up to a higher level and struggle, don't hesitate to move back down.
Because poker is a lifelong game, players must never stop learning, and the Internet is just another study aid. Online poker can be a very fun and profitable way to learn. Grasp the advantages the Internet offers you!
(Any and all material in this section is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this section is intended as, nor should be perceived as, legal advice. Before playing poker on the Internet for real money, check your local, state, and national laws to determine the laws that govern your area.)
For more information on online poker and other poker venues, try the following links:
- To see all of our articles on poker rules and advice, go to our main article on How To Play Poker.
- Texas Hold 'Em is the big game these days. Read How to Play Texas Hold 'Em Poker to be well-versed before you log on.
- If you prefer your card games through a computer monitor, you might like to know How to Play Video Poker.
- When you're ready to take on live humans, you'll want to review How to Play Poker in a Casino.